The Goal: to Eat Like a “Normal” Person, or is it?

The Lasting Weight Loss Blog Series:  Post 2 (Read Post 1 here)

What does it mean to eat “normally”?

If you think looking around you and watching those who are enjoying their lives and eating anything is the definition of “normal” eating, you’re likely wrong.   According to the NIH, 34% of adults in America are overweight and 35% are obese.  Even among children, 32% are either overweight or obese.  These numbers skew our view of normal.  Most people around you are eating and living in a way that has led to an abnormal weight, which is not your goal.

This also means that just eating what you want when you want to, in the United States in the 21th century will likely (70% likely) lead to being overweight or obese.  So eating like “other” people should not be a goal.

So what should my goal be?

Try to focus on the idea of “ease” or “freedom” from food.  Wouldn’t it be great if you:

  • Only think about food when you’re actually hungry
  • Eat the foods you desire and the foods you desire are what your body needs
  • Stop eating when you’re full. Just like that.
  • When you’re faced with life stressors or on an emotional roller coaster, you just don’t turn to food
  • With a head clear of all the food chatter, you’re able to better focus on achieving your real goals

Why doesn’t this just work for me?

This has a lot to do with the hormonal regulation of appetite and fat storage.   We’re going to cover that in more detail with our next post.  But simply put: for most people on high carb diets for several years, you develop insulin resistance while you also gain weight.  Fat cells secrete Leptin, a hormone that is important in telling your brain you’re full.  Normal weight people are sensitive to Leptin, they get full and stop eating when they’re done.  But for overweight and obese people, exposed to higher and higher levels of Leptin over time, you become Leptin resistant.  Those signals that tell you you’re full and don’t need more food don’t work as well.   You will feel hungry even when your body doesn’t need food for fuel.

This is really important to understand for a few reasons:

  • Being hungry is okay and doesn’t mean you have to eat
  • There’s a phase of getting to normal weight that will require harder work then after you get to normal weight
  • As we said before, you’re going to have to commit some time to learn how to and then to do the work to succeed to get to normal first
  • When you’re at a normal weight, you’ll have the mental and hormonal tools to eat like a “normal” person

What’s next?

Review the resources in our first post, start listening for support and learning, start reading resources to help understand the effort you are going to need to make to lose the weight in a lasting way, and start learning how to cook better.

Follow us with our next article to learn about the hormone regulation that is making your body cling to it’s fat, despite your best efforts.



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